Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!

The Kite And The Nightingale
by [?]


A noted thief, the kite,
Had set a neighbourhood in fright,
And raised the clamorous noise
Of all the village boys,
When, by misfortune,–sad to say,–
A nightingale fell in his way.
Spring’s herald begg’d him not to eat
A bird for music–not for meat.
‘O spare!’ cried she, ‘and I’ll relate
‘The crime of Tereus and his fate.’–
‘What’s Tereus? Is it food for kites?’–
‘No, but a king, of female rights
The villain spoiler, whom I taught
A lesson with repentance fraught;
And, should it please you not to kill,
My song about his fall
Your very heart shall thrill,
As it, indeed, does all.’–
Replied the kite, a ‘pretty thing!
When I am faint and famishing,
To let you go, and hear you sing?’–
‘Ah, but I entertain the king!’–
‘Well, when he takes you, let him hear
Your tale, full wonderful, no doubt;
For me, a kite, I’ll go without.’
An empty stomach hath no ear.[A]

NOTE
[A] An empty stomach hath no ear.–Cato the Censor said in one of his speeches to the Romans, who were clamouring for a distribution of corn, “It is a difficult task, my fellow-citizens, to speak to the belly, because it hath no ears.”–Plutarch’s Life of Cato (Langhorne’s ed.). “The belly has no ears, nor is it to be filled with fair words.”–Rabelais, Book IV., ch. 63.